2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview

by Richard Savill
2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview

First of all, Merry Christmas! It's always merrier if you're still alive for the championship. I hope you are.

Fantasy used to end on Christmas week, but now for semi-finalists, it's more of a soft landing if you don't make it. You still have a chance for third, and the white-knuckle ride of the finals heading into the new year is of no consequence.

You won't remember much of the past. Fantasy football is all about now. Even for champions. It's a strange psychological thing about winning and losing. The feeling is fleeting. It's a never-ending story.

Enjoy the feast of football this weekend!

This is the last Blurbview of the 2023 season. I enjoyed bringing you this uniquely structured fantasy article, which is different from all the rest. Thank you for your dedicated readership. Have a happy holiday, and all the best to you and your family.

Good luck in Week 16!

2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

Week 15 Starts/Sits and Sleepers disclosure:
1. Best Start: Jaylen Waddle Worst Start: Romeo Doubs Week: 55%
2. Best Sit: Marquise Brown Worst Sit: Jordan Addison Week: 54%
3. Best Sleeper: Dontayvion Wicks Worst Sleeper:  Gabe Davis Week: 28%

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Melissa Stark with Dak Prescott, Stephon Gilmore and Brandon Aubrey

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The 2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview is next.
Updated: Dec 24 1am ET
Trending: Tyreek Hill Qep | Jayden Reed Qep | Michael Pittman O |

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The Games this Week2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

A brief rundown of the games this weekend. Time to set those lineups and watch 'em play.

Early Sunday: Lions (10-4) at Vikings (7-7)

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Every game is a playoff game for the Vikings and a number of other teams in the NFC. This is why we like this time of year. Playoffs every week! The Lions will secure the NFC North with a win, or they will still clinch a playoff spot of some sort if the Seahawks or Rams lose.

Nick Mullens Potential

It's quite rare to see the Lions come into Minnesota with a winning record and a better record than the Vikings.

Nick Mullens has all the weapons, but can he put together enough rhythm in time to get his team to the playoffs? Yes, Justin Jefferson is back, but Jordan Addison remains the hot target. This is why reps and cohesion take time. Joshua Dobbs made a strong impression with fans, but it died out quickly. Will that happen with Mullens?

It seemed after the 27-24 OT loss to the Bengals last week that Mullens could put this together and start the Vikings winning again after four straight defeats. Well, the 3-0 win over the Raiders in Week 14 counts better than a loss, I suppose, but it felt like a loss.

The bottom line is that the Vikings need to beat the Lions twice in three weeks. Nick Mullens must put the first game away and get the fans and the team behind him. Momentum is everything.

The Lions Surging

For the Lions, last week's win against the Broncos gave the team dividends. They proved they could withstand a strong defense and overwhelm the opposition with their own. The Lions sometimes show old habits of losing critical games, but this time they could claim victory honestly.

This game against the Vikings should prove no less fierce. For fantasy, this is one of the high-scoring games. All your relevant fantasy players involved with this game are must-starts. There are sleeper choices. In the fantasy playoffs, keep your sights away from anything too risky.

Fun Fact: The Vikings, at home following a road loss, have a 13-3 record against the visiting Lions since 1994. This includes wins in their last three when the Lions are off a home victory.

Vegas Line: Lions -3.0
Vegas OU: 47.0
Start: David Montgomery, RB, Lions
Sit: Ty Chandler, RB, Vikings
Sleeper: Jameson Williams, WR, Lions
Pick Poll: Lions 87%
In the Booth: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Injury Update: Alexander Mattison Q |

Other Early Sunday Games in Blurbs...2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

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Colts (8-6) at Falcons (6-8)

Taylor Heineke starts for the Falcons (again) in a game following the defeat to the Panthers. Meanwhile, Gardner Minshew continues to keep your fantasy Colts alive and well. Jonathan Taylor may return just in time to break the goose-egg the Falcons have for allowing rushing touchdowns. This game has too many fantasy hazards, and not all players are solid starts—even the studs. Temper expectations for receivers on both sides, especially downlisters. Sleepers are too risky.
Vegas Line: Falcons -2.5
Vegas OU:  45.0
Start: Kyle Pitts, TE, Falcons
Sit: Tyler Allgeire, RB, Falcons
Sleeper: Alec Pierce, RB, Colts
Pick Poll: Colts 86%
In the Booth: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Injury Update: Zack Moss O | Michael Pittman O |

Commanders (4-10) at Jets (5-9)

Aaron Rodgers won't come into this mess in 2023, and you could see on his face last week that he might be changing his mind about the Jets. In games where you think the teams can play with reckless abandon, like this one, that often doesn't happen. Your fantasy Jets and Commanders remain risky starts. Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson should be okay for the Jets, but it might be best to sit all your Commanders, yes, including Terry McLaurin.
Vegas Line: Jets -3.0
Vegas OU:  37.0
Start: Garrett Wilson, WR, Jets
Sit: Antonio Gibson, RB, Commanders
Sleeper: Xavier Gipson, WR, Jets
Pick Poll: Jets 71%
In the Booth: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta
Injury Update: Zach Wilson Oc | Trevor Siemian StQ | Brian Robinson Jr. O |

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Packers (6-8) at Panthers (2-12)

The Panthers came up with a pedestrian win in a deluge last week against the Falcons. It still seems like Frank Reich is coaching them. The Packers, following two playoff-harmful losses, remain alive if they win out with help. If the weather is better than last week, then you can expect a fine game to watch. Even some fans might show up. Still, traveling cheeseheads won't have trouble finding a seat. It's a good fantasy matchup. Start the relevants with reasonable confidence.
Vegas Line: Packers -5.0
Vegas OU:  37.5
Start: Aaron Jones, RB, Packers
Sit: Adam Thielen, WR, Panthers
Sleeper: Dontayvion Wicks, WR, Packers
Pick Poll: Packers 95%
In the Booth: Chris Myers, Robert Smith
Injury Update: Jayden Reed Qep | Dontayvion Wicks Q | AJ Dillon Q | Christian Watson Qnep |

Browns (9-5) at Texans (8-6)

Much hinges on the concussion protocol progress of C.J. Stroud for your fantasy Texans. If Case Keenum starts or Davis Mills starts, they are all hazards—including the running backs. The Browns are closing in on just their second playoff appearance in 20 years and their second with Kevin Stefanski. Considering the injuries, it's worth our admiration. That said, this game has some fantasy concerns. The Browns are medium for the most part, but again, the Texans are tough to trust without Stroud.
Note: Stroud is out and Case Keenum will start.
Vegas Line: Browns -2.5
Vegas OU:  40.0
Start: Amari Cooper, WR, Browns
Sit: Nico Collins, WR, Texans
Sleeper: Devin Singletary, RB, Texans
Pick Poll: Browns 69%
In the Booth: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Injury Update: C.J. Stroud O | Case Keenum StQ | Nico Collins Q | Noah Brown Q | John Metchie III Q | Brevin Jordan Q | Kareem Hunt Q |

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Seahawks (7-7) at Titans (5-9)

Derrick Henry rushed for nine yards against the Texans last week. This was unusual. Henry's fantasy point averages are 9.3 away versus 17.3 at home this season. Seattle allows the second-most touchdowns to running backs, so Henry might have a day. We will likely see the return of Geno Smith. Don't bank on a barrage of fantasy points in this game, as both teams will play tight and struggle offensively for most of the game. A few explosions, perhaps, but overall quite sticky.
Vegas Line: Seahawks -3.0
Vegas OU:  41.5
Start: Geno Smith, QB, Seahawks
Sit: Jaxon Smith-Njigba, WR, Seahawks
Sleeper: Chigoziem Okonkwo, TE, Titans
Pick Poll: Seahawks 86%
In the Booth: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Injury Update: Kenneth Walker III Qep | Will Levis Q |

Late Sunday: Cowboys (10-4) at Dolphins (10-4)

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The Dolphins have a golden opportunity to finally, and at the right moment, quiet the clamor for a quality victory. Last week, they pushed the Jets off the playoff ledge quite easily and without the record-seeking Tyreek Hill. If the Bills can defeat the Cowboys at their house but the Dolphins cannot do the same, then what's the real state of matters?

The loss by the Cowboys against the Bills was not too harmful; they clinched a playoff spot nonetheless based on other results. However, it puts them in a position where they might not advance their seeding without help. More importantly, it's the verve. Going into the post-season, momentum counts high to get to the Super Bowl.

The Calvin Johnson Record

Tyreek Hill's distance from 2,000 yards stands at 458. This means he needs an average of 152 yards in the last three games. Calvin Johnson's record, the man who led the way, stands at 1,964. Either way, Hill needs at least one massive game. Fantasy owners might smile at that for the impetus, because touchdowns are also a likely side benefit. And that is indeed true. However, the Dolphins need to help him do it against the Cowboys, Ravens, and Bills.

Unfortunately, Tyreek remains questionable with an ankle injury. He's taken a lot of hits to get to the record launch point, and the Dolphins are thinking in the context of the team. They need him to be healthy.

If Hill starts, the Dolphins will certainly have the record in mind, but their primary focus is clinching a playoff spot and beyond.

We Like Explosions

With CeeDee Lamb and Tyreek Hill, or if you include Jaylen Waddle, the chances of an offensive show are on the table. The game is open to all of it, but we need to remember that both defenses might have something to say about that. Both defenses are strong and formidable.

Just the same, all your fantasy relevants must start in this game to see where the chips fall. It's a major game for the fantasy playoffs this week. Sleepers, if needed, are useful enough here if one dares.

Fun Fact: The Cowboys have won their last three rare visits to Miami. Overall, since 1989, the Cowboys hold a 6-3 record. The Dolphins, at home, following a home shutout of an opposing team, have won both times in 1998 and 2020, in the following game of this scenario.

Vegas Line: Dolphins -1.0
Vegas OU: 50.0
Start: Brandin Cooks, WR, Cowboys
Sit: Rico Dowdle, RB, Cowboys
Sleeper: De'Von Achane, RB, Dolphins
Pick Poll: Dolphins 64%
In the Booth: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Injury Update: Raheem Mostert Q | Tyreek Hill Qep | De'Von Achane Qep |

Other Late Games in Blurbs...

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Jaguars (8-6) at Buccaneers (7-7)

The Ravens held the Jaguars to just a field goal last week. That's three straight losses for the Jaguars, and you can't help but feel they are choking. The Colts and Texans caught up to them, and now it's desperation mode. The Buccaneers have the Saints to contend with themselves, with a fixture on New Year's Eve. Games like this tend to be tight. So if you are looking for fantasy brightness, keep your best hopes with the running backs and sit the quarterbacks.
Vegas Line: Buccaneers -2.5
Vegas OU: 41.5
Start: Rachaad White, RB, Buccaneers
Sit: Baker Mayfield, QB, Buccaneers
Sleeper: Cade Otton, TE, Buccaneers
Pick Poll: Jaguars 66%
In the Booth: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green
Injury Update: Trevor Lawrence Qep | Zay Jones Qgtd |

Cardinals (3-11) at Bears (5-9)

It doesn't mean much for real football, but for fantasy, it is humbly important. Oddly, it is one of the big fantasy games this week. On the face of it, you wouldn't think so, but this game has all the ingredients to send your team to the fantasy finals! Every player fantasy relevant should start in this game! Michael Wilson, whom I have as a sit below, is in reality a risk-reward option. Darnell Mooney, yes, another potential sleeper! If you are up against it in your playoffs, try these guys!
Vegas Line: Bears -4.0
Vegas OU:  43.0
Start: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
Sit: Michael Wilson, WR, Cardinals
Sleeper: Cole Kmet, TE, Bears
Pick Poll: Bears 87%
In the Booth: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez
Injury Update: D'Onta Foreman Q | Cole Kmet Q | Marquise Brown O | Greg Dortch Q |

Christmas Games

Christmas Eve (NFL Network): Patriots (3-11) at Broncos (7-7)2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

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The Broncos path to a playoff spot is simple: Win out and get help—a lot of help. With four teams ahead of them at 8-6, they need losses by the Bengals, Colts, Texans, and Bills. This is probably the quietest game for fantasy points this week. Sit all the regulars if possible because the scoring will likely be low.
Vegas Line:  Broncos -7.0
Vegas OU: 34.5
Start: Javonte Williams, RB, Broncos
Sit: Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Patriots
Sleeper: Jerry Jeudy, WR, Broncos
Pick Poll: Broncos 94%
In the Booth: Rich Eisen, Kurt Warner
Injury Update: Hunter Henry O | Rhamondre Stevenson O |

Christmas Day2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

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Raiders (6-8) at Chiefs (9-5)

There's nothing the Raiders would like more than to spoil the playoff aspirations of the Chiefs. The Chiefs seem beatable these days, but the Raiders played strong only for the first half in their last meeting. Your main Raiders and Chiefs are sound fantasy starts. Davante Adams should tally better stats than last time, because that's how things usually go. Overall, your fantasy aims are not served as well as other games this week with this game. Start all players with fantasy relevance, but be wary of untoward results.
Vegas Line:Chiefs -10.0
Vegas OU:  41.0
Start: Rashee Rice, WR, Chiefs
Sit: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
Sleeper: Jakobi Meyers, WR, Raiders
Pick Poll: Chiefs 94%
In the Booth: Jim Nantz, Tony Romo
Injury Update: Jerick McKinnon O | Josh Jacobs Q | Michael Mayer O | Kadarius Toney O |

Giants (5-9) at Eagles (10-4)

Well, the Eagles find themselves on the wrong end of momentum as the playoffs approach. The Giants, the perennial rivals, will try to keep the losing streak alive for the Eagles. After a down game, A.J. Brown will look for an "up" game. Starting any Giants with the trendy quarterback Tommy DeVito is a hazard. You can put Saquon Barkley in, which is obvious. The game will take on a character where the Eagles will likely breakout early with the Giants playing catch-up.
Vegas Line: Eagles -13.5
Vegas OU:  43.0
Start: Dallas Goedart, TE, Eagles
Sit: Wan'Dale Robinson, WR, Giants
Sleeper: Kenneth Gainwell, RB, Eagles
Pick Poll: Eagles 97%
In the Booth: Joe Davis, Daryl Johnston
Injury Update: DeVonta Smith Q | Matt Breida Q |
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Ravens (11-3) at Forty-Niners (11-3)

The two teams at the top of their respective conferences battle it out on Monday Night Football. We can say that the winner of this game can boast of being the best as we end 2023. Don't be too secure in the notion of a fantasy feast. Yes, you certainly start all the fantasy-specific players on both sides, but the defenses are necessary to take a good part of the stage on Christmas night. If you are depending on a breakout contribution to get you through to a final, this isn't the game you'll likely find it.
Vegas Line: Forty-Niners -5.5
Vegas OU:  47.0
Start: Brandon Aiyuk, WR, Forty-Niners
Sit: Gus Edwards, RB, Ravens
Sleeper: Odell Beckham Jr., WR, Ravens
Pick Poll: Forty-Niners 78%
In the Booth: Joe Buck, Troy Aikman
Injury Update: Zay Flowers Q | Odell Beckham Jr. Q | Jauan Jennings O | Elijah Mitchell Q |

In the Booth on Sunday

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Sunday Games2023 Fantasy Football Week 16 Preview Blurbview

CBS Early

Browns at Texans: Ian Eagle, Charles Davis
Seahawks at Titans: Andrew Catalon, Tiki Barber, Matt Ryan
Commanders at Jets: Spero Dedes, Adam Archuleta

FOX Early

Lions at Vikings: Kenny Albert, Jonathan Vilma
Colts at Falcons: Adam Amin, Mark Schlereth
Packers at Panthers: Chris Myers, Robert Smith

CBS Late

Jaguars at Buccaneers: Kevin Harlan, Trent Green

FOX Late

Cowboys at Dolphins: Kevin Burkhardt, Greg Olsen
Cardinals at Bears: Kevin Kugler, Mark Sanchez

Saturday Games

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Bengals (8-6) at Steelers (7-7)

Mason Rudolph will start for the Steelers. The core answers for the Steelers' offense do not lie solely at the quarterback position. This locker room has a problem. What do the Steelers need to start with? Simple. A fullback. They could get one now! It's time to put away those old Bruce Arians notions for good. I digress. As for this game, the Bengals have all the best fantasy bona fides, but temper expectations for all in a likely low-scoring game.
Vegas Line: Bengals -2.5
Vegas OU: 38.0
Start: Tanner Hudson, TE, Bengals
Sit: Dionte Johnson, WR, Steelers
Sleeper: Chase Brown, RB, Bengals
Pick Poll: Bengals 83%
In the Booth: Noah Eagle, Todd Blackledge
Injury Update: Ja'Marr Chase O |

Bills (8-6) at Chargers (5-9)

There's no getting around the fact that Stefon Diggs became less of a factor in the Bills' offense sometime around Week 8. The 31-10 victory over the Cowboys saw Diggs take four catches for 48 yards. Here's a game where Diggs might get a bundle after a long wait. The Chargers finally parted ways with HC Brandon Staley this week after an embarrassing blowout against the Raiders. The chance to coach a team with Justin Herbert next season will bring candidates from near and far.
Vegas Line: Bills -12.5
Vegas OU: 44.0
Start: Stefon Diggs, WR, Bills
Sit: Austin Ekeler, RB, Chargers
Sleeper: Gabe Davis, WR, Bills
Pick Poll: Bills 97%
In the Booth: Mike Tirico, Cris Collinsworth
Injury Update: Ty Johnson Q |

© 2023 Richard Savill

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